Facebook has changed its corporate name to 'Meta' to align with the concept of 'Metaverse'. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been advocating the vision of 'Metaverse' for quite some time now.

 Announcing a change of the name, Zuckerberg said:

Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we're building towards.

Stemming from the combination of the words, “meta” (that means beyond) and “verse” (short for universe), the Metaverse is quickly becoming a technology buzzword in the business world. But what does it actually mean?

The Metaverse refers to a “shared” virtual world environment as a future iteration of the Internet. We can also understand it as a collection of shared digital spaces, which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). 

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Oh and not just gaming, this virtual world could be used for practically anything - work, play, concerts, cinema, or shop, hang out with friends.

Since the idea is still in the development phase, there's no single definition of the metaverse but it seems that it will be the next big thing in the world of Internet.

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For years now, Facebook has been investing in virtual and augmented reality for the metaverse. Its Oculus headsets are examples. One can use these headsets to enter a virtual world connecting all sorts of digital environments.

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Recently Facebook announced Horizon Home, a 'more social' home space for Oculus users, that looks like a virtual home and people can now invite their friends to join and hang out together or play video games.

This is not all. They are planning on doing more. From sporting events to concerts and workspaces, everything will be accessible from the comfort of your homes. People will meet for activities ranging from playing games to conducting business.

More? You will be able to call friends from any Messenger-enabled platform and hang out and travel with them in a virtual world.

If you've played games such as Second Life, Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox, you'd know that all of them have elements of the metaverse. Users can work and collaborate, attend events and exchange real-world money for virtual goods and services in these games.

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We've already redefined the idea of 'virtual' when the pandemic began in 2020. Zoom, online games, Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and every other social app on our phones represent our idea of virtual.

So, 'Metaverse' is an umbrella term. It is a virtual universe where one will be able to move seamlessly between different types of digital worlds and devices, while retaining the same virtual identity.

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The virtual worlds we are talking about will be interconnected. The metaverse will take time to develop into a full-fledged technology and big tech companies like the Microsoft have started putting efforts in this direction.